1. In a story done by reporter Ted Gregory on this subject for the Tribune on September 1st, he quoted a Cub official directly as saying that 40% of overall Cub attendance comes from tourists. That's a sizable amount to pad attendance.
I posted a summery of the story since it was a "members only" feature and it might have been missed so I post it again here for anyone. Has some interesting numbers on the demographics of Cub vs. Sox fans:
"He talks about the good season the team has had so far, how unexpected it was but says they rank 24th in home attendance. He calls it "particularly galling, and perhaps embarrassing" considering the Cubs as bad as they are outdraw a first place club.
He quotes a fan as saying his best guess as to why are because of the bad 2011 and that Kenny Williams used the "rebuilding" word this past winter.
He quotes Brooks Boyer (who never mentioned ticket prices or the dynamic pricing concept) on why the fans aren't turning out as saying that Sox fans are loyal and unique, but last year's disappointing performance was followed by several changes, including the exit of manager Ozzie Guillen and beloved pitcher Mark Buehrle.
"You add the frustration of last season and you put it in an off-season where there weren't many expectations," Boyer said, and it created "a perfect storm."
Gregory then goes into the neighborhood issue quoting fans on how there are other things to do at Wrigley Field but nothing around U.S. Cellular. Adds that according to the Cubs 40% of their attendance comes from tourists.
Then he goes into the factual differences in the fan bases.
Research by Scarborough Sports Marketing, of New York City, indicates contrasts, some distinct.
Compared with fans at the Cell, a slightly higher percentage of adults attending Cubs are employed full time — nearly 59 percent to 56.4 percent, while fewer are self-employed, according to Scarborough surveys. Also, nearly 54 percent of adults at Cubs games are white collar; 52 percent attending Sox games are white collar.
Scarborough's research also shows that nearly 40 percent of adults who attend Cubs game are college graduates while that figure drops to 34.1 percent at U.S. Cellular Field.
Nearly half of all adults in 17 counties in the Chicago area watched, attended or listened to a Cubs game in the past year, Scarborough's research shows, while slightly more than 41 percent of them did the same for a White Sox game.
But the White Sox draw a higher percentage of first-time customers than the Cubs do, Scarborough found, and TV ratings of Comcast SportsNet, which broadcasts many of each teams' games, show the Sox have gained ground while the Cubs have dropped. About 70,000 households tune in to Sox games on CSN, the network reports, 10 percent more than last season.
The Cubs, meanwhile, draw slightly more than 66,000 households to their CSN broadcasts, down 11 percent from last year.
Boyer then makes an interesting statement that the Sox are lowering some ticket prices for the remaining games because "it was an effort to regain the trust of fans."
The story concludes on this note, long-range optimism for larger crowds at U.S. Cellular Field may be found in the higher TV ratings, a sign that the pool of new Sox fans has expanded, said Bill Nielsen, vice president of sales for Scarborough."
2. For right or wrong, fair or unfair Kenny is remember for his early comment that "he can't ask the owner to spend a dollar if he only has fifty cents..."
In following years Kenny told the truth linking attendance to team payroll since that is the operating philosophy of the franchise and it did not go over well. In the past few years he has, wisely in my opinion, stayed away from speaking as bluntly as he had been about the linkage issue.